https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/health/coronavirus-immunity

Blood samples from recovered patients suggest a powerful, long-lasting immune response, researchers reported.
Credit…Cheney Orr/Reuters

How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful answer yet to a question that has shadowed plans for widespread vaccination.

Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come.

The research, published online, has not been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. But it is the most comprehensive and long-ranging study of immune memory to the coronavirus to date.  (See link for article)

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**Comment**

While it’s true this study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a bought-out scientific journal, it completely aligns with other findings and what has occurred historically for viruses.

  • survivors of SARS carry certain important immune cells 17 years after recovering
  • a study at the University of Washington show “memory” cells persist for at least 3 months after infection
  • those recovered from COVID-19 have powerful and protective killer immune cells even when antibodies are not detectable.  Many immunologists have noted that it is completely  natural for antibody levels to drop, as they are just one arm of the immune system.
  • a Yale immunologist is not surprised by the long-lasting response because “that’s what is supposed to happen.”  Akiko Iwasaki
  • another immunologist stated that typically people get infected a second time but that the immune system recognizes it and resolves it so quickly you remain asymptomatic and not infectious, and that “sterilizing immunity” is rare and not the norm
  • the new study by Sette et al., the first to chart the immune response in such detail, looked at antibodies, B cells, and two types of T cells – to better understand the whole immune response over time
  • an author of the study frequently cited suggesting fading immunity admits that reinfections with the coronavirus are rare
  • while immunity duration is difficult to predict studies so far show even small numbers of antibodies or T & B cells may be enough and that study participants have been making “robust amounts”
  • emerging evidence on reinfections with common cold coronaviruses are a result of viral genetic variations and may not be relevant to COVID-19
These results along with successful COVID treatments reveal once again that an experimental, fast-tracked, adverse reaction riddled vaccine isn’t needed.

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